Russia defuses homemade bomb, nabs 5 militants in Nalchik

Five members of a banned militant group have been arrested and a homemade bomb was defused in the southern Russian town of Nalchik, a National Anti-terror Committee (NAC) spokesman said on Saturday.

Nalchik about 300 kilometres from Winter Olympics host city Sochi

Experts and police officers examine a site of a trolleybus explosion in Volgograd, Russia, that killed at least 17 in this file photo from Dec. 30, 2013. Recent bombings and a series of unexplained killings have further heightened security fears ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi. (Denis Tyrin/The Associated Press)

Five members of a banned militant group have been arrested and a homemade bomb was defused in the southern Russian town of Nalchik, a National Anti-terror Committee (NAC) spokesman said on Saturday.

Nalchik, about 300 kilometres from Winter Olympics host city Sochi, is in the foothills of the Caucasus, where Russia faces an insurgency by Islamist militants who have threatened to try to prevent the Games going ahead.

"Security forces have detained five members of a banned international terrorist organization," NAC said in a statement quoted by Russian newswires. An NAC spokesman confirmed with Reuters that the statement was correct.